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276

west, to the next corner so you can keep an eye out up and
down that cross-street. Anything stirring, and one of you
come back up here."

"Ail right/' the man named Allen said. Benton Todd,
sitting his horse very straight, said nothing. The two men
detached themselves from the main body, turned the corner,
and trotted off down the hill to the west.

"The rest of you just form four abreast/' Mr. Munn
directed, "at the corner there"—and he pointed to the
corner—" and wait till it's over." Then he added, " We'll be
the last out, on this side of town, anyway."

The men moved into position at the corner, juggling their
mounts into a crude order.

" God-a-mighty, hit's a-gonna be cold here," one man said,
" wind outer the north rising now like hit is and come-en down
Jefferson. Us standing here, and ain't nuthen to break hit."

" It won't be long," Mr. Munn said. " Besides, we're sup-
posed to stay here."

" I ain't complainen," the man replied.

The rest of the column of mounted men was far down Main
Street, to the east, now. Down there, along the tracks, were
the warehouses, all of them strung out along Front Street.
Mr, Munn wondered if they were putting the dynamite to
them yet. He guessed that the men on foot had already
passed down at the foot of the slope. He pulled off his right
glove and held his hand to the wind. It was coming from
the north, all right, as far as he could tell with the buildings
and all, and it was freshening. He hoped it wouldn't get
much stiffer. A high wind, and there'd be a good chance of
burning up the town when the warehouses went. But an east
wind would be the most dangerous. An east wind would
bring the fire right up the rise, this way, through the middle of
town.

. The lights were on in the lobby of the hotel, a few doors
down the street. But the lights that had at first come on in
the rooms upstairs were out now, all but one, one on the top
floor. It made a streak of yellow light under a lowered